Pet Assisted Therapy Volunteer

GOAL OF POSITION: To provide animal assisted therapy to clients in a variety of settings.

SUPERVISOR:Volunteer Services Coordinator

TIME COMMITMENT: Two to four hours per month for a one year commitment. Daytime, evening and weekend shifts available.

DUTIES: Studies show that animals are good for our health. They lower our blood pressure, reduce stress and help us live longer. Volunteers and their pets in this program visit facilities such as hospitals, adult daycare, skilled nursing and long-term care homes. They also visit local libraries with our reading to dogs program, Paws for Tales.

TRAINING: Volunteers and their dogs must attend our Canine Good Citizen Class (CGC) and pass the final evaluation. The CGC training class is offered several times a year by our Behavior Department. Dogs must then pass a temperament evaluation and obtain a health certificate from their veterinarian. Cats must pass a temperament evaluation and obtain a health certificate as well. Volunteers need to attend orientation and pass a background check to participate in this program.

QUALIFICATIONS: Must have excellent communication skills and feel comfortable working with patients, children and at-risk population. You must be able to exercise patience and compassion when dealing with all clients. Volunteers must be willing to work independently and along with their animals, be very comfortable with strangers, strange noises and objects such as wheel chairs, walkers, etc. Must be at least 18 years of age.